Wednesday, 30 November 2016

David O'Dea Organic Shiraz 2016


There's plenty of satisfaction here. Fruit forward and juicy, one glass turned into three pretty quickly. With a few wines lined up on the tasting bench, I went back here simply due to sheer pleasure.

Soul Growers Wild Iris Chardonnay 2015


A really tasty and no nonsense Chardy. Solid drinking without the frills.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Angove Long Row Chardonnay 2016


Isn't this just a little surprise packet for ten bucks.

Good fruit which carries well, good oak, some interest - nice work.

Fresh lemons and some tropical fruit influences. There's a warming caress from an oak touch and gentle spice which sits long. Good penny pinching drinking for that roast bird you're about to pull outta the oven.

Drink now.

87/100 - Good

Region: Riverland
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

Even Keel Pinot Gris 2016


I last saw winemaker Sam Coverdale a couple of years ago. At the time, the plans were in for the new Polperro cellar door and excitement was high. Since the opening about a year ago from memory, it's fair to say he has smashed it and arrived on the scene with an almighty bang.

A most personable bloke with an infectious laugh which fills the room, it's almost as though this Pinot Gris reflects his persona - generous, creative and welcoming.

Even Keel Chardonnay 2015


Some old school appeal here with a bit of new age hip.

Morning sunrise gold in the glass, Werther's butterscotch, jersey caramel, and vanilla pod aromas. I'm hooked.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Angove Long Row Riesling 2016


Pretty white florals get things under way. Lemony sherbet tacks on the side for the ride. Delivery has a fuller feel to it - not the clean and crisp Riesling type. Canned apple, lemon zest and pineapple husk flavours fill the mouth. It almost feels a little weighty but not.

A fair go for ten bucks.

Drink now.

86/100 - Good

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

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Angove Long Row Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV


You can't expect too much from a ten dollar fizz but this does the job pretty well.

Whiffs of melon, a squirt of citrus, poached apples sneak in late too. Although it is not a complex wine, toasted whole meal bread adds appeal through the mouth. Some zesty tang to finish.
Nothing amazing, nothing disastrous either. A good option for cheap fizz hunters.

Drink now.

85/100 - Good

Region: McLaren Vale
RRP: $10
Source: Sample

www.angove.com.au

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Friday, 25 November 2016

Bowen Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013


2013 was a good year in the Coonawarra. I take my mind back to the Coonawarra Vignerons Cup in January this year sitting in the marquee and hearing Vignerons President Tim Bailey speaking in glowing praise for the year that it was.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

d'Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 2013


A slight variance on the blend percentages to previous years, this Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre blend presents itself with 67/28/5 this time in. It's a damn good drink too.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Golden Grove Estate Joven Tempranillo 2016


The Granite Belt doesn't have a hero variety, and whilst there are a diverse range of varieties in the dirt, it seems Tempranillo has started to beat its chest loudly of late.

Golden Grove Estate appear to have nailed the secret recipe with this Joven style. This is their fourth release of this style which just seems to keep hitting the mark all too consistently now.


Soul Growers Single Vineyard Eden Valley Riesling 2016


A great drop. There's plenty of depth here to comfort your innards.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Stonier W WB Pinot Noir 2012

If 100% whole bunch is your thing, dip your oar into this ocean of beauty.

From the Windmill vineyard which is humbly listed on the label only as a W, the WB obviously standing for Whole Bunch.

Terra Di Granito Chardonnay 2013

This label comes about as a play thing for one of the Fine Wine Partner execs who I'm told now resides in Sydney. The fruit was Granite Belt sourced and contract made by a small winery in Ballandean.


Monday, 21 November 2016

Tellurian Wines Rosé 2016


Sundays and sunsets are made for wines like this. And that's exactly how I enjoyed it.

Dry and savoury, this approachable rendition of Rosé turns the enjoyment factor up high. Maligned often for too much sweetness, winemakers are stepping up and delivering dry and savoury styles of Rosé which are really hitting the mark.

Red berries, mandarin peel and cranberries get things on the move. A blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre and Nero d'Avola, there's depth with a sexy appeal sure to please. Top ups are easy to call for. Run at it.

Drink now.

91/100 - Very good

Region: Heathcote
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

www.tellurianwines.com.au

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Yelland & Papps Sete Di Vino 2015


Well it's not every day you see a Primitivo and Barbera blend (58/41), but there you go.

Intriguing but bloody easy to drink. A no brainer to share with any type of red meat dish really. Even chill it down a little to take the edge off it and the door of possibility widens again.

Red flowers, hibiscus syrup, cranberry juice, dark plums rhubarb and dark cherries.

An inviting medium bodied wine, Barbera tapers the edges of the Primitivo delivering a soft wine ideal for entertaining. Specks of spice compliment the fruit culminating in a nicely balanced wine.

Having a glass or two wouldn't be hard. Another winner from Michael Papps.

Drink now to three years.

90/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.yellandandpapps.com

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Alkimi Marsanne Intrepide 2016



Quite a confronting wine to taste - it's right in your face. I persisted but couldn't bring myself around to liking it.

Although well made, it just didn't mesh for me.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Magpie Estate The Schnell Shiraz Grenache 2012


Good drinking red - makes me want to have a burger actually. And a side of fries. It'd be crazy not to.

Old wood, baking spices, baked raspberry, rhubarb and dark berry fruit. Spicy Shiraz holds much of the attention but Grenache secures the flank. Nothing extraordinary, just a solid drop at a good price. What more could you ask for?

Drink now to three years.

88/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.magpieestate.com

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Huntington Estate Special Reserve Semillon 2015



What a difference a year makes. This walks to a different beat compared to the 2016 Semillon.

Coming off 47 year old vines, this 'Special Reserve' Semillon is the first of its type released by Huntington Estate.

To use a word, it comes across richer than you'd expect yet it's still as fresh as a daisy. Toasty and pithy, it grabs at you hard - in a nice way. Lemon zest tang sits in the background. The fruit is well weighted, and like the 2016, this is growing on me as time goes by. Long to finish, hang time is impressive too.

A pinch of acidity points this well towards long cellaring.

Great buying for the asking price. Time will easily be its friend if cellaring Semillon is your thing.

93/100 - Very good

Region: Mudgee
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.huntingtonestate.com.au

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Huntington Estate Semillon 2016


The 2016 Mudgee vintage is said to be one of the best in the region's history.


Gundog Estate Markman's Shiraz 2015


I tasted this alongside another cool climate Shiraz 2015 - it just so happened the other won a trophy at a capital city wine show for best Shiraz. This Gundog left it for dead.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

TarraWarra Roussanne Marsanne Viognier 2015



The back label says the fruit comes from just seven rows of vines.

The sum of the parts has changed for this 2015 too. Normally Marsanne is the leader of the pack but this time Roussanne takes charge.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz 2013


Christmas comes in a bottle. Well, it does for me anyway. Every year without fail a bottle of sparkling red goodness sits on our Christmas table. The depth of fruit plus the dollop of residual sweetness does the job. Being chilled also helps when those days tend to be warm ones.


Angove Nine Vines Grenache Shiraz Rosé 2016

Drink this in the sun swanning around in togs, a bikini and thongs - thongs on the feet mind you.

Super delicious and easy drinking, a dry Rosé ticking all the boxes for absolute enjoyment.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Yelland & Papps Vermentino 2016

The fruit for this comes from two Barossa vineyards, one of which was the first plantings in the region in 2006.

Smells of white flowers, glace pineapple, and old school lemonade.


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Pewsey Vale Prima Riesling 2016


Ramp the sugar levels up and you can't go wrong, right?

This is a pretty good drink mind you. Deliberately picked early, it holds 24 grams of residual sugar per litre - but sits in the medium dry/medium sweet bracket.


Saturday, 12 November 2016

Meerea Park Indie Semillon Chardonnay 2015



There's not many such blends in the Hunter - this the first for Meerea Park. There seems to be some change in the air with a few new additions of late. Old Rhysie is getting creative!


Shaw Vineyards Sparkling Cuvee NV


Smells a bit Sauv Blancy - green capsicum, snow peas. It's green leafed too with lemon pith aromas. After tasting the wine I found it was 100% Semillon - well there you go.

Quite sweet up front but it dries out. A concentration of lemons and zest sit mid palate. I can't say I'm taken by it. There's not much complexity nor depth to it. I'd prefer others.

84/100

Region: Canberra
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.shawvineyards.com.au

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Yellowglen Yellow NV

There's cheap fizz and there's cheap fizz.

Not much excitement here at all. Easy drinking appeal is high, but so is the simplicity. It's clear to see why so many units of Yellow are moved - there certainly is a market for wines like these. They aren't for me though. It's sweet and lifeless.

80/100

Region: Victoria (various)
RRP: $13
Source: Sample

www.yellowglen.com

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Friday, 11 November 2016

Shaw Vineyard Reserve Merriman Shiraz 2014


Some cool climate class with a kick in the booty. A wine you just want to sit down and drink.


Meerea Park Terraotta Chardonnay 2015



This is the first release of the Terracotta Chardonnay coming off the vines in front of the Meerea Park cellar door at Roche Estate (formerly Tempus Two).


Yelland & Papps BB Pinot Blanc 2016


You're either on board with this or not. It's the variety which won't be everyone's cup of tea. It sits somewhere in between Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Alkimi The Good Earth Roussanne 2015


An enjoyable drink. It's rich as you'd expect being Roussanne but it's not over the top. Smells of honey toast, old school cubed cheddar, hay, and peach skin.

A portion went through malo and sat in a mix of stainless steel, a small amount of new oak and some older oak for six months. The acidity is quite tame and fruit is linear in the mouth. There's white fleshed stone fruit feels and apricot kernel at the death wrapped up by some ginger like spice which recedes ever so slowly. Nice touch. I'd have a glass.

Drink now to five years.

88/100 - Good

Region: Nagambie Lakes
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.alkimiwines.com

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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2013


Dead Arm on song. Gee I enjoyed this. It's certainly not at its best now though - give a few years and it will be shining brighter than a diamond.


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Yelland & Papps Shiraz 2015


Barbeque with confidence this summer with reds like this to help wash down your snags and steaks. Rip the top off and dive straight in to a super enjoyable Barossa Shiraz.

Cherry ripe, cardamon, berry basket fruits all come out to play. Not too heavy but there's plenty of interest in there to gauge some thought. Toss in generous dark plums and pan juices, it's earthy, savoury and luscious. Dark chocolate comes back for more and adds another layer before wood spices chime in late. Downing a few glasses of this is certainly not a chore.

Drink now to five years.

92/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.yellandandpapps.com

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Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2016



If God was a DJ he'd be drinking this for dayz...

A fantastic release, there are no excuses for not falling in love here.

Attractive florals, juicy lemons and limes. Bone dry, there is a little textural and minerally thing going on but that citrus goodness just marches to a neat beat. Acid is tightish and pleasure factor is cranked up high. One glass is no where near enough.

Drink now but will sit for eight to ten if that's your thing. I'd go now though - why not!

93/100 - Very good

Region: Eden Valley
RRP: $25
Source: Sample

www.pewseyvale.com

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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Pizzini Lana Moscato 2016



Made for drinkin' not thinkin'. Chill it down ice cold and it barely touches the sides on a hot day. You can see why these sweeter style wines are a hit in the market. And this one has bubbles for added appeal. Super low alcohol here too at 6.9%.

The back label suggests musk and old school lemonade - I can't better that. That musk carries through from gate to post.

Drink now when it's steaming hot or when your trying to impress your sweet toothed nanna.

87/100 - Good

Region: King Valley
RRP: $20
Source: Sample

www.pizzini.com.au

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Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2013



Crunchy green apple, white stone fruit hanging low plus some lemon zest. A good enough drink with some complexity offered from three years on lees. There's a generosity about it but the tart acidity and sour sherby tang get my attention - not in a good way mind you. A fair drink at a price point which is quite competitive for fizz. I wouldn't have more than a glass.

Drink to to three years.

88/100 - Good

Region: Yarra Valley
RRP: $35
Source: Sample

www.coldstreamhills.com.au

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Katnook Founder's Block Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV



A decent drink for the money. It feels a bit heavy in the mouth with some complexity coming from this Chardonnay weighted blend (60/40). Yeasty and sour dough, it's on the creamy spectrum. A zippiness to closes it out.

I could take it or leave it.

87/100 - Good

Region: Coonawarra
RRP: $23
Source: Sample

www.katnookestate.com.au

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Pizzini Prosecco 2016


Fresh and delish. Pools and sunshine is where this is at.

Green apples sit at the core framed by lemony goodness. Cleansing citrusy acidity ticks the box. Easy drinking, not overly complex, super easy to kick back with.

Drink now.

92/100 - Very good

Region: King Valley
RRP: $21.50
Source: Sample

www.pizzini.com.au

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Ten Minutes by Tractor 10X Rosé 2016


There's a fair sophistication about this Pinot Rosé.

Fruit depth comes in spades. Pinot Noir is used here. Red berries and red fruits walk tall. There's almost a crunch underfoot as they navigate their way through. Savoury textural appeal through the mid palate is tempered and classy. Another whiff and rhubarb sticks its neck out. A spice ripple rolls through what seems an endless caress through to the finish. Classy Rosé for those looking for, well, something classy with a pink tinge.

Drink now.

93/100 - Very good.

Region: Mornington Peninsula
RRP: $28
Source: Sample

www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au

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TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2016



I wouldn't need much persuasion to have a couple of glasses of this. Fruit to start, savoury to finish - bam!


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Shottesbrooke Eliza Reserve Shiraz 2013


This has Barry White factor - a big guy with smooth tones.

I was curious to find the reasoning as to why it saw 100% American oak, particularly for a high end McLaren Vale Shiraz. Shottesbrooke Brand Manager Kylie Upitis said it best:

"We pick the Shiraz for the Eliza at a lower ripeness than we would for our other wines. High quality American oak is used to highlight the fruit sweetness in the wine, without increasing the residual sweetness. It is a stylistic choice to use this oak, as opposed to using French, which tends to be a bit more savoury and subtle.  

Whilst we realise that American oak may not be the most fashionable choice to make, we have made the deliberate decision to stay true to our core Shottesbrooke values and make the wine in a style that is unashamedly old school, yet one that delivers what our long term customers expect with each new release."

Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rosé 2016

Rosé fans on a bargain hunt can track this down for around $10 on special - a pretty sweet deal.

Awash with red fruits - cherries, dried pomegranate, watermelon and a squeeze of pink grapefruit. A little creamy texture through the middle plus a very fine dash peppery spice of before a tightish crisp acidity whips up the tail. Happiness doesn't have to cost a lot.

Drink now.

88/100 - Good

Region:  Barossa and Wrattonbully
RRP: $15
Source: Sample

www.yalumba.com

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La Maschera Rosé of Granaxia 2016

Granaxia is an Italian synonym for Grenache - well there you go. A drop of Sangiovese has been tossed in here too for good measure.

Copper appearance in the glass, pretty aromas of white peach, mandarin peel and dried strawberry. White peach takes the reins here and rides it all the way but fades out through the middle - not too dissimilar to a Melbourne Cup pace maker. Red apple peel appears at the death. Bone dry, a whip crack of acid on exit.

I liked the aromas more than to taste. A good little wine no less.

Drink now.

88/100 - Good

Region: Barossa Valley
RRP: $22
Source: Sample

www.samsmith.com

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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Rogers & Rufus Grenache Rosé 2016


Massive chug factor here. Sunshine and long lunches here we go.

Made from Grenache, 60% was made in twelve year old oak. Onion skin like in appearance with a faint copper hue, no sulfur was added to this in the vineyard, only prior to blending.

Fresh, savoury and bone dry, it hits and sticks to the middle palate. Textural, pink grapefruit and white raspberry flavours scatter about. There's a mild creaminess too which I liken to one of those white chocolate and raspberry ice creams. Yum! Super low acidity, chill it down hard and pour generously.

Drink now.

92/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa Valley
RRP: $22.50
Source: Sample

www.rogersandrufus.com

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Heemskerk Coal River Valley Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2011


This comes in a bottle with a booty bigger than Beyoncé but the contents are far more stylish. Whilst I like the presentation, it's a bugger to store - but we eat with our eyes, right?

Oceans of pleasure spill out of the glass here. Fresh, elegant and precise.

Witches Falls Prophecy Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

An enjoyable Cabernet. Whilst the fruit seems a little leafy and green tinged, cigar box, fruit cake, dense berry fruit, dark chocolate play their hand appropriately as one would expect.

Savoury characters sit on the flank but it's those dark fruits which come to the fore. Quite forward actually. There's a sweetness to the aromas and that flows into the mouth. Tannins are plentiful that's for sure - dusty yet juicy. It's built for the long haul and it'd be good to see where it's at in a few years time.

Long term cellaring is certainly in the frame.

89/100 - Good+

Region: Granite Belt
RRP: $51
Source: Sample

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Ten Minutes by Tractor Wallis Chardonnay 2014




Quality from a tough 2014. Lower yields were a result of rain and unfavourable weather in November 2013. Wallis was the only single vineyard Chardonnay made in 2014 - McCutcheon and Judd not making the cut.

The progressive increase in quality through the range is clear. The 10X is a very handy entry, the Estate a sum of the parts and this Wallis single vineyard sits above the rest like a shining beacon.

Levantine Hill Rosé 2016

A thinkers type Rosé. Made from Cabernet fruit with a splash of Pinot, it's quite heavy in the mouth. Cabernet just doesn't hit the mark in the Rose stakes in my book, but the quality of the winemaking here cannot be denied.

Magpie Estate The Gomersal Grenache 2013


Only produced in exceptional years, the previous release to this was in 2009 with the first being 2004. 60% of the wine was aged for 22 months in new French oak puncheons (475 lt barrels), the remainder in 3 year old French and American oak. A dollop of Shiraz also finds its way in here (2%) for depth and complexity.

There's plenty of pleasure in the glass here. Char and dark berry fruits are flanked by some fruit sweetness. Depth takes charge through the mid palate. A peppery and baking spice like shimmer rolls out to a long and satisfying finish. Soft and effortless. It's not hard to enjoy a glass of this, that's for sure.

Drink now to eight years.

92/100 - Very good

Region: Barossa
RRP: $48
Source: Sample

www.magpieestate.com

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